Branded as the “ultimate test of strength and endurance,” the annual Apex Games are not for the casually active. The timed games challenge competitors to sprint between stations where they perform deadlifts, push-ups, kettlebell swings, weighted lunges, and other exercises. The event is designed to separate the fit from the absolute fittest. We asked the fall 2014 Apex Games winners Danielle Rohm, a stay-at-home mom and part-time fitness coach, and Josh Miller, an equipment warehousing and material handling manager, their thoughts on eating right, working out, and the importance of staying fit.
What’s your mantra when you hit a wall? What do you say to yourself to keep going?
Danielle > I break things down into small pieces. Whether it’s running the mile I am in or trying to move until the end of a song. Sometimes it’s five reps or even one rep at time. I have always tried to be grateful that I have the physical ability to run and work out. I like this quote from Steve Prefontaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”
What advice would you give others who are struggling to get into shape?
Josh > I would tell them, “Getting in shape is a marathon, not a sprint.” It’s not going to happen overnight. It is going to take hard work, dedication, and consistency. If they go to the gym with the mindset of “I am going to be better today than I was yesterday,” and do that day-in and day-out, then they are going to be successful.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Danielle > Bacon, eggs, and a protein bar.
Josh >> I work out almost every morning, and my first solid meal after that is always one can of tuna, two whole eggs, and 1 oz. sweet potato. Usually immediately after my morning session, I will consume 30–40g of whey protein.
Were you always in great shape? If not, what was the turning point?
Danielle > I have been running for 23 years. The year after my first marathon, I didn’t run much so signed up for another marathon to motivate myself. Starting from zero felt horrible, and I promised myself then to never get out of shape again. Josh >> I was always active as a kid and started sports at an early age: soccer, football, basketball, and ended up playing baseball at Erskine College for four years. So, I guess that I have always been in pretty good shape, and since starting CrossFit two years ago, I definitely feel that my fitness is the best.
What is your training regimen?
Danielle > Depends on what I am training for, but usually I’m at the gym five days, and I run three days a week.
Josh >> I usually train in the morning between 5:30–7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and sometimes mid-morning on Saturdays. Usually after work, I am ready to get home and spend time with my 19-month-old daughter Ellison and my stepson Tristan. So, after work, my wife usually gets her training in while I watch the kids.
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Danielle > Cake.
Josh >> Ice cream! I admit that I indulge way too much on the weekends.
Do you count calories? If so, what’s the number you consume in a typical day?
Danielle > I normally don’t count calories, but the couple times I have kept track it came to around 2,500 a day.
Josh >> I do not count calories on a daily basis, but throughout the week I eat pretty much the same foods each day. I have counted those calories before, and they total between 3,000 and 3,300 calories a day.
Weights or cardio?
Josh > Weights. Cardio is important, too, but you can easily incorporate cardio within a workout tailored around weights.